Sant Bani’s New Woodland Playground Nears Completion

SANBORNTON - On Saturday, parents, students and staff gathered at Sant Bani School to build a sandbox, spread mulch, plant groundcover and cut saplings for a new playground and woodland playscape that has been in development over the summer.

The play area, designed in the spring by a faculty committee, is intended to provide a gateway for children to explore one of the many woodland areas on campus during recess times. Swingsets, a slide and other play structures are arranged on a grassy hillside next to the woods, with paths leading through a stone wall into a forest clearing featuring mossy boulders, fallen tree trunks and other natural features to explore.

“Our teachers make really good use of our setting during class time, taking students on nature walks to observe the woods, fields and streams, or going outdoors for writing or art,” said Jessica Pine, Director of Curriculum and Program. “Adding this play area builds on our students’ ability to experience and interact with nature during their free time as well.”

Special financing for the project is provided by an endowed fund created in honor of Richmond Mayo-Smith, who was a Trustee of the School and grandparent of two Sant Bani graduates. Mayo-Smith dedicated his life to education and inquiry into meaningful ways of connecting with people and the environment.

“Spending time in the woods and connecting with nature was really important to Richmond,” said Kent Bicknell, Head of School. “It feels very appropriate to use this funding to create a lovely woods space that will encourage all who enter to explore and reflect.”

Extensive renovations are also being made to the School’s main building this summer, including the creation of brand-new classrooms for grades K, 1, 2 and 6; a new kitchen/multi-purpose room and a new nurse’s office, along with other improvements.

About Sant Bani School

Sant Bani, founded in 1973, is a vibrant independent K-8 school surrounded by 200 acres of woods and fields. Our program features student-centered, project-based learning in a welcoming community. New for 2015-16: lower tuition rate of $7,500, including an Extended Day Enrichment Program, and Spanish instruction in all grades. Learn more at, or schedule a tour for your family: 934-4240 |